The Rough Edges of Motherhood

23 Sep

“Mama! I hold you!”

My 2-year-old’s squirmy body collides into mine. He’s my wild child. Rough and tough. Abrasive at times. All mess and climbing and destruction and just 100% pure BOY. He sleeps with firetrucks, airplanes, and his toy rifle. He head butts me and I sigh deeply.

“MAMA! I hold YOU!”

I hold him, because I know that’s what he means, and his body goes limp for a moment. I breathe in his still baby-ish smelling head and remember just yesterday when he looked like his baby brother in the other room.

5 years now, I’ve been neck-deep in the muddy and heart-achingly beautiful reality of caring for these tiny people 24/7.

3 babies. 3 beings with individual likes and dislikes, passions and behaviors, bad days and good days.

My oldest just wants to be a grown up. She is so gorgeous and smart and independent and goofy and sarcastic. She knows the world is hers.

I remember being 5 and having the same feeling. The whole universe before me, ready to be explored. I felt the same thing at 18 and 24.

Now at 34 and a half, I am asking my Father to give me those eyes again. To see each day like a child, wonder and awe and joy, always an adventure.

This year has done it’s best to dampen my spirit and put our my light, but I won’t let it.

This matters.

I tell myself as I wipe another butt, another nose, another spill. As I talk, calmly, when I want to scream and walk away.

This matters.

You whisper in my heart as I lie awake again with my tiny baby, getting all his nutrients from my body to fuel his strong legs kicking, his huge, bright eyes smiling.

Giving, always giving, even when I want to be selfish.

This matters.

I know, as I teach my oldest to read and my middle to pour cereal and I take another deep breathe and ask Jesus to be so real to me because I just can’t do this without His strength, His patience, His wisdom.

I look in the mirror and for a moment those lies creep in and I feel old and stretched out and worn out and I wonder where my dreams have gone.

Where is the great big world I wanted to see, where are the books I have always wanted to write, trapped inside my tired mind, stuck until this all gets easier?

Reality check: it’s not going to get easier. It will always be hard, in a million different way, changing with growth spurts and hormones and emotions to navigate, as the darkness in life becomes more real and tries to press in on their tiny hearts.

There will always be moments where I am stuck in the tension of protecting them and preparing them, where I want them to step out on their own, but stay in my arms just a little while longer.

Motherhood will always have rough edges that cause boo-boos, those real scrapes and bruises and the emotional ones.

There will always be moments of pain and guilt, when it’s so difficult to swallow my pride and lay my life down and mother and teach.

But hard is good. It makes us better.

This matters.

And I have the mind of Christ.

This sleep-deprived, mom-brain doesn’t render me incapable.

I can homeschool my daughter.

I can deal with my toddler’s BIG emotions.

I can hold my precious baby a little bit longer.

And can write my heart out.

I can follow my dreams, because you see, when I really peel back the layers and work my way around those rougher edges of daily sacrifice and chaos,

These beautiful, brilliant, messy human beings, are my dream.

They are my greatest creation,

My favorite story,

My best adventure,

My most important job,

My most kingdom-changing ministry.

This matters.

So I cuddle and discipline and teach and cry and laugh and try my best to be present, for these days I get to be with them are a fleeting gift.

And those rough edges sharpen and refine me like hell, making me closer to who I was always meant to be than anything else.

And it’s never gonna be picture-perfect or easy, but it’s always going to be worth it.

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